March 26, 2010

Zuppa Toscana



Here's another recipe I received from my friend Sarah Jo of Double Wide Skillet, Single Wide Budget. This time a delicious soup recipe! I made this to serve along side the "Roasted Vegetable Pasta" I recently posted and thought the two went together beautifully.

While I've never had it, apparently this soup is supposed to be very similar to a soup that a well known Italian chain restaurant serves. Having 3 children and a limited budget, we don't go out to dinner much, so I can't vouch for how close this soup is or isn't to that one. Nevertheless... I adored this soup! So much so that I made it once for the whole family and then made it again so that I could eat it for lunch for several days. It's been almost a week since I finished up that last batch and believe it or not... I'm craving it *again*!

I hope you'll try this one and let me know if you go as crazy for it as I did! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 and 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
12 oz package thick sliced bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 to 3- 26 oz cartons chicken cooking stock
6 large potatoes, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
6 oz bag baby fresh spinach

Method:
1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Pour the chicken stock into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings

*The recipe this soup was based on can be found here at allrecipes.com*



Kitchen Notes:
~ The second time I made the soup I added an additional 6 oz bag of baby spinach... because I love spinach and I thought it was excellent. When I added the extra spinach I wanted it a bit more "soupy", which is why I added more stock. If you make the recipe according to the recipe above, 2 cartons of chicken stock will be fine.

~The original recipe calls for only 4 slices of bacon... but we love bacon in this house so I used the whole package. Don't feel you need to be as gluttonous if you'd rather not. Even 4 slices of bacon would have been enough to flavor the soup, I simply wanted MORE!

~ The original recipe calls for heavy cream and the first time I made it that way and it was delicious... however, the second time I used fat free half and half and it was just as good! (Saved a few calories so I could have all that bacon and feel a little less guilt!)

~I like this soup with a spicy kick... so I used both hot Italian sausage AND the red pepper flakes. If you prefer, you could use hot sausage and omit the red pepper flakes.

~This soup freezes well!

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset

12 comments:

  1. That soup looks incredible! It's snowing on Cape Cod and I want a bowl of it right now. I like the addition of extra bacon and spinach. My motto is more is better.

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  2. I want this wonderful soup for my dinner, creamy and warm ideal for today :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

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  3. My hubs recently made a similar soup! He loved it. Looks great!

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  4. Mmmm yum I love zuppa toscona!!

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  5. Your zuppa tuscana looks fabulous. Warm and soul satisfying. Delicious. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I love soup..this one sounds great.

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  7. Oh, yeah. Kick that delicious soup up a notch for me, please. Definitely comfort food! And perfect for the cool, wet spring weather.

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  8. Hey there! Love your blog. I saw it when I was browsing Foodie Views. This soup looks and sounds amazing!

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  9. I do love that soup...and I must say yours looks better.....thanks for sharing

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  10. What a hearty and delicious sounding soup. I must try it.

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  11. @ everyone.... thank you all for the wonderful comments!

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